Whenever I meet another parent with a child who just misses the Kindergarten age cut-off, there are a lot of understanding sighs and nods as we commiserate over having to keep our children home for one more year.
My son Eli will turn 5 on September 7, just one week after our district’s Kindergarten cut-off. Although I know the extra year at home will ultimately benefit him (he needs a bit more time to develop socially), it’s sometimes a challenge to keep him academically stimulated at home. He’s a smart cookie! I have found a number of fun educational resources and printables online that I’ve been dying to try out, which was perfect timing with our opportunity to review the Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator.
Right out of the box, my favorite feature is how easy it is to use. No special set up, no in-depth study of operating instructions. Just take it out, plug it in, and turn it on! The machine itself has all the information and guides printed right on it, making it very intuitive to use.
After choosing the thickness of the laminating pouches I was using (3 mil in my case), the unit heated up quickly. BUT, it was not hot to the touch! In fact, the Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator features HeatGuard™ Technology, a double-walled insulation that keeps heat inside and makes the unit safe to use around children.
For my first project, I decided to laminate some adorable Alphabet Tracing printables I found at the site Lawteedaah. I did the pages back-to-back in order to maximize the use of my laminating pouches.
I learned a few things with my first attempt at laminating: (1) make sure the unit sounds the signal that it’s entirely hot – if you pass the pouch through too early, you’ll get pockets of air and an uneven seal on the edges (but you can pass it through again to fix it), (2) make sure your pouch is free of any debris or else it will be laminated on your sheet forever (I did this on my kitchen table and got some crumbs on my first sheet!), and (3) if your project happens to stall, the Jam Release Lever comes in very, very handy.
I was a total pro by the second sheet, and I love how the Alphabet Tracing printables came out! I gave my son one of sheets and a dry erase pen, and he loved it. Even better is that the dry erase came off easily, and now all the sheets are durable and reusable for continued learning.
Next I decided to download the Dolch Sight Words for preschool and Kindergarten from K12Reader.com. I did not laminate these back-to-back, since I plan on using them in singles and creating a “word wall” in his room. I had two of my older kids help cut these up, and even once cut, the Fellowes laminating pouches held a strong, sturdy seal over the paper.
I did an informal poll of friends on Facebook and Twitter, asking how they would use the Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator at home. Here are some great back-to-school answers:
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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Fellowes and received a product sample to facilitate my review.